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Vikings' Dalvin Cook hasn't 'scratched the surface yet'

Flashes of brilliance and streaks of injuries have characterized the two-year tenure of running back Dalvin Cook with the Minnesota Vikings.

Big gains and big games, versatility running between the tackles and catching out of the backfield have been the good, if not great, when it comes to Cook.

Alas, a dastardly knee injury in his 2017 rookie season and a bum hamstring in 2018 have been the bad.

Cook is back, though, and was present and brimming with promise at offseason workouts this week.

"I feel like the ceiling is real high for me," Cook said, per the Pioneer Press' Dane Mizutani. "Everything I want is still in front of me. Everything I can do is still in front of me. I'm capable of doing a lot of things. I still haven't scratched the surface yet."

Taken in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Florida State, Cook burst from the gates as a rookie with 127 yards in his first game. A blown-out knee concluded Cook's first campaign only four games in, though.

Able to finish off his second season, Cook still missed ample time early on due to the aforementioned hamstring injury. His 615 yards rushing, along with 40 catches for 305 yards, were reason for promise, especially considering it came in only 11 games.

Playing an entire season is no doubt a priority for the 23-year-old as this might well be a make-or-break season for Cook -- and the Vikings.

While an injury once again put a damper on Cook's season in 2018, overall the Vikings were left looking for more, having gone from a preseason Super Bowl hopeful to a team left on the outside of the postseason.

"We left a lot on table," said Cook, who also dealt with the inconsistencies of an offense that went through two offensive coordinators and leaned heavily on the passing of quarterback Kirk Cousins over the running game. "The main goal is to win the Super Bowl and we didn't achieve our goal. We have a bitter taste in our mouth."

The offense, in large, is back with the most notable loss likely that of running back Latavius Murray, who was signed by the New Orleans Saints. Hence, Cook is the man in Minnesota when it comes to the backfield.

"He passed the torch down," Cook said of Murray, "and now it's time to run with it."

With the 2019 kickoff still months away, Cook's looking to get back to form and full health.

In many ways, the Vikings are looking to get back to form, as well. While expectations are likely to be tempered this time around for Minnesota, Cook's upcoming campaign will be a hugely important one.

"I'm getting back to how I used to feel," he said. "My confidence (is) out the roof. I feel great. I've had a great offseason."

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